At Buyatab, we value meaningful growth and development. The resources and time invested in an individual encourages growth and success to flourish. Earlier this month we hosted an internal mini conference. We were very fortunate to have sessions hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and a select few of our expert Buyatabers, covering multiple topics in this 3-day event.

The primary purpose of the Buyatab Mini-Conference was for the software development and DevOps teams to dive deeper into cloud computing, including tools, practices and architectural patterns.

Here are some of the key takeaways and perspectives:

1. What was your favourite session and why?

“My favourite session was “.Net with Lambda, DynamoDB, and Cognito”, hosted by AWS Services. This session focused on a few areas that I’m personally very interested in. The discussion and labs about Lambda showed the versatility and capabilities of what is possible with the technology and gave us ideas of how to integrate it into our own system – the possibilities are endless! DynamoDB was another area in this session that was very interesting. Nick went into some very high-level discussion of how NoSQL databases work and how DynamoDB (and others) can achieve such high-performance metrics (at the cost of vast amounts of space).  There could be applications of a NoSQL database within our own system as well if we felt like we needed incredibly fast response times.” – Brody van Eaton, Application Developer

“The serverless session was my favourite. Of all the sessions, I felt that this session was the most heavily customized for Buyatab’s tech team. Being able to employ services we already use in AWS, but for a more application-oriented purpose is really interesting.” – Abhisek Pradhan, DevOps Engineer

“Containerizing .Net Core apps in AWS cloud from Nick Naddaf, AWS on Day 1 was a great session for the whole team. Nick provided focused information about creating and deploying .Net core apps using AWS SDK for Visual Studio . And yes, that included hands-on labs.”  – Jarnail Dadial, Development Manager

2) How has the Mini-Conference benefited your work?

“These talks added a lot of value to my work as it gave me insight into how we can better utilize AWS and the various features they provide to improve our system in many ways. In the future, I can see us making use of Lambda, API Gateway, and Containers to improve developer productivity and the robustness and scalability of our system. The labs gave us hands on experience with how we’ll be able to incorporate this into our daily routines one day.” – Brody van Eaton, Application Developer

“Giving developers more awareness of what’s possible with the application of AWS services means that we can start to think about new possibilities when implementing new projects. Some older problems may have new solutions that simplify the process. We can tackle issues like application scalability more cohesively.” – Abhisek Pradhan, DevOps Engineer

“As with learning any technology, knowing the fundamentals is the key. With that out of the way (and that also from an expert), I believe the team is now better aware of possibilities and benefits of containerization which they can consider when developing scalable services and features for Buyatab’s clients.” – Jarnail Dadial, Development Manager 

3. What is one new or useful thing you learned?

“I learned how to deploy through the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studios for the various AWS features (lambda, EC2, etc.). This will be highly useful when we begin to integrate our system into AWS even further.” – Brody van Eaton, Application Developer

“We already use AWS Lambda, one of the backbone services provided by AWS for serverless computing. Learning about ways to reduce initial overhead by keeping the service “warm” was neat. I think if/when we get around to integrating this service into our application, knowing tricks about how to avoid the costly initial response time will be beneficial.” – Abhisek Pradhan, DevOps Engineer

“AWS Modernizing tools like ECR, ECS and EKS.” – Jarnail Dadial, Development Manager

Our mini-conference also included topics outside of development and architecture. We had several great talks intended for business-oriented teams and individuals led by our Product team and CTO, Chris Falk.  These crucial topics allowed all Buyatabers to understand how our services work and exactly what we do.

This company-wide event was a great learning opportunity, and everyone was encouraged to attend the sessions that had the most interest to them. The lessons learned sparked new personal interests and topics of conversations to be had around the office. We cannot wait for the next one!